In a literal sense, nutrition is the study of food intake in relation to the body’s needs. The foundation of nutrition is based on macro and micro nutrients that are necessary to maintain proper body function. However, nutrition isn’t all about the numbers – it’s about making better choices to support your continued good health.
As with any other discipline, the field of nutrition is constantly evolving. It’s important to understand that some of the things that we currently understand about food aren’t set in stone. Health is an emotional topic for many people and it can be a very polarizing subject. It can be hard to take a subjective look at issues that hit close to home, but it is vitally important.
For instance: There are some things that aren’t currently explained by science, but that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong. Many organizations continue to ignore the overwhelming amount of scientific and anecdotal evidence that food additives like MSG and aspartame and artificial colourings like tartrazine cause real health issues. Food is the one thing that every single individual on the planet must have several times a day, every day, so how can poor food choices not be a major factor in illness? On the other hand, there are things that are explained by science, but that doesn’t necessarily make them right. A study realised earlier this year apparently debunked the myth that caffeine is dehydrating. Maybe if the researchers tested blood viscosity instead of urine output they wouldn’t have actually come to that conclusion. Or maybe if the study wasn’t supported by a research institution whose best interests are to promote coffee as a healthy choice, they wouldn’t feel compelled to have a researcher on the team with “no competing interests” but just happens to work for PepsiCo (only a few of their beverages don’t contain caffeine). All of this is to say that I want you to use your best judgement when it comes to nutrition, and do what works for you. But remember – balance is key, because extremism can be detrimental to our health!